By Ezeocha Nzeh
The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) hves commenced a partnership to ensure a hitch free orientation as the commission resumes its orientation Tuesday in all states of the federation and the FCT
NYSC Director General, Brigadier General Shuaib Ibrahim, said during a parley with the media, Monday in Abuja that the scheme remains the most critical platform for grooming Nigerian youths I to facing and promoting the much desired national unity and development.
This is even as the Director General National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, assured at the occasion of the readiness of the center to provide all necessary support for a successful camping exercise
Ihekweazu however stated that foreign students hoping to resume the camp must isolate themselves for seven days before being allowed into the camp.
Brigadier General Ibrahim, who solicited for support of all stakeholders for success of the scheme and the mandate of preparing the youth for national assignment, noted that the pandemic, activities in the camp have been scaled down.
“I can assure you that, in the NYSC, all lives matter. And I want to assure all parents that their children are safe.
“The scheme is pursuing its mandate under the “new normal” imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have always ensured strict compliance with the COVID-19 prevention protocols.
“Following the ease of the COVID-19 lockdown and the green light from the Presidential Task Force (PTF) for NYSC to make preparations for safe resumption of our orientation course, the scheme has been working in liaison with the NCDC to achieve the desired outcomes. As you are already aware, the orientation exercises will resume on 10th November, 2020, starting with the 2020 Batch ‘B’ Stream 1A. As at Thursday, 5th November, 2020, a total of sixty-six thousand (66,000) eligible graduates had been mobilised for the 2020 Batch ‘B’ Service Year.
“They will all participate in the orientation exercise, which has been planned to take place in three streams for ease of compliance with the COVID-19 protocols.
“Already, we have put in place essential measures in all orientation camps nationwide in line with the protocols for the safety of corps members and other members of the camp community. The measures, which have been endorsed by the NCDC during its inspection of the Camps, include:
“Testing of Prospective Corps Members (PCMs) and course officials for COVID-19 by NCDC officials before admission into the orientation camps; provision of hand washing points with adequate supply of water, liquid soap and sanitiser at strategic locations in all the camps; limiting to a manageable size, the population of participants of each stream of the orientation exercise; spacing of hostel beds in line with the prescribed physical distancing rule, and for improved ventilation; arrangement for staggered reporting of prospective corps members to camp and increase in the number of registration points; “compulsory usage of face masks by all persons in the orientation camps; strict observance of COVID-19 protocols in all camp activities among other measures put in place,” he said.
He stated further that the scheme is committed to ensuring that the measures are strictly implemented with all members of the camp community complying with the established guidelines.
NCDC director general, Dr. Ihekweazu, said NYSC has been in consultation with NYSC authorities and the PTF on COVID-19 are working very hard to facilitate the safe conduct of the 2020 NYSC orientation camp activities
“In addition to the interactive webinar over the weekend, today, we will be providing updates on infection prevention control measures taken to ensure that activities in the camp are conducted safely in the context of COVID-19.
‘Our corps members are young, mobile populations, who have been shown by our social data to have the lowest risk perception across age demographics. However, epidemiological data has also shown a high no of infection among young people
“The increasing number of COVID-19 cases in other parts of the world is a reminder that the virus is still with us, and a second wave of infections is possible in Nigeria if we do not take collective responsibility.”